Winter 2015

Destination: Fargo

“Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams,” Federico Fellini once said. “Years can pass in a second, and you can hop from one place to another. It’s a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something, as in a dream.” Cinema’s oneiric qualities have long been discussed by filmmakers and film theorists alike. Hollywood is even referred to as “the Dream Factory,” but that sobriquet refers as much to the industrial production and export model of the motion picture business as it does […]



23 Fragments on the Future of Cinema

Asked to address the question of the moment, James Schamus responds with this provocative, exhilarating meditation on cinema, its death, and the possibilities of its non-future. A speech given November 18, 2014 at the German Film Academy. 1. Let us begin with a quotation, from the late, great Theodor Adorno: “Whoever speaks of culture speaks of administration, whether this is his intention or not.” 2. You have invited me here tonight to speak on the topic of “The Future of Cinema.” This is not an easy task, given all the challenges buffeting our industry and our art form, challenges such […]

  • Any Color You Like: Writer/Director Jill Soloway on her Golden Globe-Winning Transparent

    Speaking about the transgender movement and his leading role on the new Amazon Original series Transparent, actor Jeffrey Tambor exuberantly told Entertainment Weekly, “This is a brave new world.” From Emmy-nominated Laverne Cox’s Time Magazine cover to landmark federal policy laws, 2014 was an explosive year for transgender visibility and politics. Alongside these milestones, Jill Soloway’s groundbreaking new show mines the emotional landscape of trans-ness with a feeling-driven, multi-dimensional story of a family’s reckoning with a retired professor (Tambor, in a brilliantly nuanced performance) coming out as transgender. Funny, poignant and provocative, it’s been hailed as one of the best […]

  • On Both Sides of the Lens

    Is there another contemporary documentary director who has so lovingly — and yet so quizzically — explored the work of his own artistic inspirations as Wim Wenders? With his patient, probing camera eye and, often, ruminative German-accented voiceover, Wenders has captured the work of filmmakers (Nicholas Ray, Yasujirō Ozu), choreographers (Pina Bausch), fashion designers (Yohji Yamamoto) and many, many musicians (Blind Willie Johnson, U2 and the players featured in Buena Vista Social Club, among others). Wenders approaches these talents humbly — in some cases as a colleague, but most often as a fan and admirer. And as much as Wenders’ […]

  • From My Screen to Yours: Carlos Marques-Marcet on 10.000 KM

    Technical pyrotechnics are a relative concept, to say the least. Hollywood-style CG can create alien worlds or giant explosions in tentpole films as well as illusorily seamless cinematography in mid-level independent dramas such as Birdman. Still, seldom do these applications seem to come from a place of necessity as opposed to an external, directorial flourish. The 23-minute unbroken take — realized practically, without effects — that opens Carlos Marques-Marcet’s quietly transfixing debut, 10.000 KM, is the best kind of pyrotechnic: scarcely noticeable and utterly essential. Over the course of these 23 minutes in a dimly lit Barcelona apartment, Alex (Natalia […]


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